Objective: To know if there are differences between the critical care units and the medical-surgical care units regarding the perception of the nurses working in National Health System hospitals about their work environment, burnout level and job satisfaction.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 6,417 nurses from the medical-surgical care units and with 1,122 nurses from critical care units of 59 Spanish hospitals with more than 150 beds. Socio-demographic, job satisfaction, perception of work environment (Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index [PES-NWI questionnaire]) and burnout measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) data were collected.
Results: The PES-NWI showed differences in 4 out of its 5 factors. It showed better values in medical-surgical units in all the factors, except for Staffing and resource adequacy (P<.001), where critical care units showed a mean level of agreement of 2.41 versus 2.19 for the medical-surgical units. Regarding burnout, this was higher in the medical-surgical care units (P=.039) where 23% (952) of the nurses had high levels. Job satisfaction was lower in the critical care units (P=.044) with 70% (578) of nurses being very or strongly satisfied.
Conclusions: The opinion of the nurses, working in critical care units about their hospital is unfavorable. They showed lower levels of burnout than those working in medical-surgical units.
Keywords: Burnout; Critical care; Cuidados críticos; Entorno laboral; Maslach Burnout Inventory; Nursing staff; Personal de enfermería; Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index; Work environment.
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